Summary: Loss of Dicernment among believers.
Hosea 7:8 “Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned.
9 Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knoweth it not: yea, gray hairs are here and there upon him, yet he knoweth not.”
Encarta dictionary defines discernment as “keenly selective judgment. Also synonyms would include judgment, acumen, discrimination, taste and sensitivity.”
I. The Cause of Diminishing Discernment
a. Prayerlessness - When we break commands concerning prayer it leads to diminished discernment.
1Thesselonians. 5:17 "…Pray without ceasing."
Luke 18:1 "Jesus spake a parable unto them to this end that men ought always to pray, and not to faint"
Ephesians 6:18 says that the Christian is to be praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints" (Eph. 6:18).
There are many commands in the Bible that Christians should pray and Jesus warns His disciples more than once to watch and pray lest they should enter into temptation.
When we do not pray we deprive ourselves of the things that we need. Many do not have daily necessities because they do not pray. God says we are to ask,
Matthew 6:11 "Give us this day our daily bread"
No doubt many of the afflicted are still afflicted because they have not obeyed God's command, "Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray."
When we do not pray we deprive ourselves of the wisdom we need. Many are undecided and in doubt about duty because they have not prayed and they lack wisdom because they have not obeyed God when He commanded,
James 1:5 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not"
James 4: 2 "…have not, because they ask not"
They do not ask and they do not receive. They do not seek and they do not find.They do not knock and the door is not opened (Matt. 7: 7). Sometimes there are other hindrances, but often it simply lack of prayer.
Others die die because we do not intercede on their behalf. In Exodus 32, God threatened to destroy the whole nation of Israel and make Moses and his family a new nation. But Moses prayed and God forgave them. If there had been 10 praying men in Sodom, God would have spared the city!
b. Lack of Study of God’s Word
2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Hebrews 5:12 “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
2 Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.